Parrots at Lunch……

5 Feeding Birds

Photographed from a friend’s garden in Colombo, Sri Lanka.

” ….Ceylon large parakeet or Alexandrine parakeet (Psitticula eupatria) is called Labu Girawa in Sinhala and Periya Kili in Tamil. Named after the legendary Alexander the Great of India. This bird is also found in India. This resident bird is the largest amongst our parrots. It is a little smaller than a crow but has a long tail. The tail feathers are graded and of different lengths.

Only the males have a ring round their necks, the front half of the circle being black and the back half pink. The males of Rose-ringed parakeet also have a similar colored ring but the large parakeet has a much bigger beak and is also bigger in size. Also both sexes of the large parakeet have a red patch on the wings.

This species is found in the low country dry zone and is not seen in the hill country but is seen infrequently in the wet zone. It prefers to frequent jungle tanks and chenas near jungles. Its presence, in some areas, where it was seen in large numbers has now diminished. Some birds of this species are seen in Colombo.

Small flocks of this bird are seen flying fast making a screeching noise. These birds pair off for life and at breeding time the pairs move out of the flock to nest. The rest of the time they remain with the flock foraging for food. They also roost in communal roosting trees. Coconut trees are also popular roosting trees….” (Extract from Jayantha Jayawardena’s Wild Life)


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